NC General Assembly

Photo: The North Carolina General Assembly's Legislative Building
Jorge Valencia

From gay marriage to puppy mills, North Carolina state legislators have filed more than 1,600 bills this legislative session and they are not even halfway done.

Many bills will not make it through the General Assembly, but some are still causing a stir.

Political Junkie Ken Rudin

Feb 13, 2015

The governor and the legislature are at odds over changes at the Department of Transportation concerning layoffs and the gas tax. 

Plus, President Obama chose North Carolina native Loretta Lynch to fill the attorney general position, but her confirmation hearings have been delayed. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about these stories and other political news around the state.

high school students
Vancouver Film School via Flickr/Creative Commons

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has released letter grades for every school in the state.

They are based on standardized testing and academic growth. The report says 29 percent of them got a D or an F last year, which by law prompts them to notify parents of their low grades.

Supporters of the new evaluation system say it is more comprehensive. Opponents say it is not an accurate depiction of public education.

Photo: Map of North Carolina
Flickr user Lindley Ashline

A coalition of Democratic and Republican state representatives wants to cede their responsibility to draw North Carolina's electoral districts, to non-partisan staff or a non-partisan commission.

They say they want to take politics out of the process, but similar efforts have failed for more than 20 years.

The North Carolina General Assembly is back to work in Raleigh and lawmakers are filing dozens of bills.

rainbow flag
Ted via Flickr/Creative Commons

At the North Carolina State Legislature, Senate Leader Phil Berger introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow magistrates across North Carolina to opt-out of performing same-sex marriages. He wants government officials such as magistrates and registers of deeds, who object to same-sex marriage, to receive protection.

Stephen LaRoque
North Carolina General Assembly

Stephen LaRoque, a former high-ranking member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting theft at a federal court in Greenville on Monday.

LaRoque, who resigned his house seat after he was indicted in 2012, entered a plea as part of a deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, allowing him to avoid a trial originally scheduled for next week. He will pay $300,000 in restitution and faces up to 10 years in prison, the attorney’s office said in a statement. Sentencing is scheduled for May 12.

Renee Ellmers

Another battle over abortion regulations played out in Washington this week. This time, the conflict was within the Republican Party over a bill in the House that would have banned abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) led the opposition, but put her support behind a new measure that would cut all federal funding for the procedures.

Meanwhile, a North Carolina judge heard arguments about new proficiency standards for public schools. He's considering whether they meet the constitutional mandate of a "sound, basic education."

North Carolina Legislature passes a tax reform bill.
W Edward Callis III

State lawmakers will be back in Raleigh Wednesday for a one-day organizational session. The most important task at hand for legislators is to formally elect the heads of the state House and Senate. And there shouldn't be any surprises.

The previous session's President Pro Tem of the Senate, Republican Phil Berger of Eden, is expected to be re-elected easily. He's scheduled to hold a news conference later in the morning.

Image of Student Protesters
Jeff Tiberii


Members of the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors heard presentations Wednesday and Thursday from centers and institutes across the system as they consider possible cuts.